Health Care

‘A Big Safety Net': Affordable Care Act Filled Need, Fended Off Dismantling in 2020

Between February and June, an estimated 14.6 million people lost their employee-sponsored health insurance. Elements of Obamacare helped shore up those losses

A demonstrator holds a sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A little more than 10 years after the law known as Obamacare was passed, the landmark health care legislation has survived numerous attacks under the Trump administration and appears to be deeply embedded in the nation’s health care system. The effect it has had during this difficult year — whether in politics, policy or at the kitchen table — is hard to dispute, NBC News reports.

Though it is currently difficult to know exactly how many people remain without their health insurance because of the current economic crisis, between February and June approximately 14.6 million people — workers and their dependents — were affected by job losses that also resulted in losing employer-sponsored health insurance, an estimate by the Commonwealth Fund concluded.

In states that passed Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act helped shore up some of those losses, particularly as rolls for the public health insurance option for low-income people have ballooned this year.

Other people have found options through the plans offered by the ACA or received coverage from a spouse or parent, COBRA, short-term health plans or just gone without.

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The exact number of people who lost insurance in 2020 will remain unknown until late next year. The Congressional Budget Office released a report in September looking at the amount of people who were uninsured in 2019 — 30 million — and estimated the number could jump by 1 million people because of the pandemic.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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